Time to wallow in Judy Garland's woes again--as Spada (Monroe, Streisand) runs through the familiar miseries, then...



Time to wallow in Judy Garland's woes again--as Spada (Monroe, Streisand) runs through the familiar miseries, then emphasizes the second-generation pressures suffered by daughter Liza Minnelli. (""Judy may have been Hollywood's most tragic victim; she in turn could terribly victimize those around her--most painfully her first-born Liza."") So, after summarizing Judy's problems with a loving/bisexual father and a hurt/hurtful mother, Spada quickly moves her through fame, pills, marriage #1, and into marriage #2 with director Vincente Minnelli--whose autobiography is a major source here. Motherhood didn't bring Judy contentment or security: she remained pill-addicted, paranoid, with new fears and sexual hangups; furthermore, ""Judy the star. . . was often jealous of this child."" (Vincente was a doting father to Liza.) In the years that followed, the Minnelli marriage broke up--and nomadic Liza would be erratically treated by Judy, ""dreadful incidents"" followed by tearful hugs and apologies. Furthermore, though Judy would have more husbands and two other children, Liza soon became as much caretaker as daughter--saving Judy from suicide more than once. (Judy ""relied on Liza for myriad assistances,"" in Spada's mangled prose.) And when Liza showed signs of talent, Judy would be a loving supporter one day, an envious rival the next--with joint concerts, TV appearances, and ugly scenes galore. So: has superstar Liza now, 15 years after Judy's death, escaped from the scarring and the shadow? Well, though she displays some similarities with her troubled mother (""there have been rumors of drug and alcohol problems""), Liza has ""persevered, suffered sling and arrows with renewed strength, and emerged as her own woman."" With most of the grim anecdotes culled from previous Judy books: a sleazy, ill-written blend of gossip, show-biz, and pop-psych--to be illustrated with over 100 photographs.

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 1983


Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1983

Close Quickview